Sept. 1, 2010
BEAUMONT, Texas -
When the Lamar University women's soccer team isn't playing a game or preparing for an upcoming opponent, team members are often helping other teams prepare for upcoming contests by coaching area youth soccer players.
Many of the Lady Cardinals are assisting with the recreational developmental program at the Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club, while other players are serving as coaches for some of the more advanced players at various other organizations.
"It's a great way to give back to the area soccer community," Lamar coach Dewi Hardman said. "It also helps us develop a great source of local support."
The Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club boasts of about 850 players ranging from ages 5 to 19 on more than 90 teams. The organization, based in Port Neches, has teams ranging from the beginner to the advanced.
"The Lamar players have been providing training sessions," said John Lovejoy, director of coaches at the Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club. "This is their second year of doing it, and it has been an excellent success."
Lovejoy said the organization highly encourages its players to support the Lady Cardinals by coming out to the home games at the Lamar Soccer Complex.
"We've had coaches bring their whole team to a game," Lovejoy said. "That's something we like to see."
The youth soccer players will have two occasions to cheer for the Lady Cardinals (0-2-0) this weekend, as Lamar hosts UT Brownsville at 7 p.m. Friday and Prairie View A&M at 2 p.m. Sunday in a pair of non-conference games.
"I think it's important that we put together a full 90 minutes," Hardman said. "We feel there are periods of the game where we've been competitive, but not for a full game."
"We want to get on a winning track," Hardman said. "Playing at home, we like to think we have an advantage, but we have to use that advantage."
UT Brownsville, an NAIA school, is 1-0-1. The Scorpions opened the season with a 1-1 tie against William Carey, ranked ninth in the NAIA, before posting a 2-0 win over Houston-Victoria. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Prairie View A&M is 0-3-1 on the season. Lamar won the only other meeting between the two teams, taking a 1-0 victory at Prairie View on Sept. 23, 2008. Jennifer Gibbs
made four saves that day for the first shutout in Lamar history.
For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715 or visit www.lamarcardinals.com.